Revisiting The Old Church Cookbook And Its Life Lessons.

Revisiting The Old Church Cookbook And Its Life Lessons. May 16, 2024

Books with flowers
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A beautiful lady is an accident of nature. A beautiful old lady is a work of art.  Louis Nizer

Do You Remember the Old Church Cookbooks?

If you have attended church for some time, you might recall all the little church ladies putting together a church cookbook. Growing up in a staunch died in the wool Baptist church, the casseroles and recipes were amazing. There were funeral potatoes, you know the ones with the corn flakes on top, slathered in butter? Green bean casserole, any kind of potato you could think of. There was a hamburger casserole, dressing and gravy. Some little old ladies would put boiled eggs in their gravy. I always thought that was weird as a kid. Fried chicken, baked chicken, ribs, pineapple casserole. Homemade rolls that would make your mouth water, sweet tea for days. Butter beans, black eyed peas, green beans from the garden. Tomato salad, Waldorf salad. Watergate salad (what an interesting name.) You know, it was green with marshmallow, nuts, and pieces of pineapple. The food was wonderful, the ladies that cooked these delectable dishes were a wash with grey hair, and their smiles were wonderful. They truly enjoyed sharing their recipes with everyone. 

Chocolate Cake
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The Church Cookbook Brought Back Fond Memories and Life Lessons

Yesterday I was going through some books at my home, I happened upon some of the cookbooks that were from my childhood. The pages were bound with plastic rings, the printing was sometimes interesting, and there were notes all over the book, no doubt to add to the recipes that were already there. As I leafed through the book, I thought of all the love that was poured into the cooking, publishing and sharing. It was like a great big hug from the Lord. 

The Church Cookbooks Recipes Were Simple Yet Profound

Today when we look for a recipe we can just Google it. These precious ones had them hand written in a little recipe box in their kitchen. There was no web page where you try to find a recipe and the author has written 4 pages about The Battle of Hastings before you can actually get to the intended recipe. Rather, it was straightforward and easy to see. I know that the 80’s and 90’s had their challenges, but what can we learn from a little worn cookbook from a gaggle of grey haired ladies who have since passed on to glory? 


Keep it Simple

Keep it Sweet

Keep it as sugary as some good old iced tea. 

Add a dash of love.

A bit of respect.

And most of all, Love God,  and give him your best. 

An older woman holding a casserole
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“Do not go gently into that goodnight, church Cookbooks! We need your Cool Whip-enriched salads like never before.” Julie Neidlinger

Yesterday I read about nomophobia. It is the fear of being without a smartphone. I must admit, I may know 2 phone numbers off the top of my head. Directions? Where would I be without my phone? My phone is my remote for the TV, it has a lot of important information. Exercise without my smartphone? The idea. Just no. Yet, these little old ladies had nary a smart phone between them. How did they survive? They read books, the cooked food, the went to church for the community that it brings. They visited each other, the worked outside. Get this, my grandmother used to read voraciously. After that, she would sit outside and just let the breeze hit her face. No talking, no books, just grandmother and nature. Over the weekend I tried to emulate what my grandmother used to do. I took a few things away from this practice. The breeze truly is refreshing and the time with nature was calming for the soul. 

The Little Church Cookbook Can Still Teach Us Lessons Today

After I thumbed through the old cookbook, I pulled out a newer one that was by a famous chef. The pictures were all glossy without a crumb out of place. As I sat each book side by side, I could almost feel the love that emanated from the little old ladies. Let us take a life lesson from their memory. The book is simple. The recipe is straightforward and it is very easy to share with others. Amen. May their memory be a blessing. 


I couldn’t leave without my favorite casserole from church. It is called “Funeral Potatoes” I changed it to “Sunday Potatoes” just because they are so good, you don’t need a funeral to enjoy them. 

Preheat the oven to 350 F


1 Bag of Frozen Hash browns

1 or 2 cups sour cream (It depends on how much you like it)

2 cans of cream of chicken soup

1 or 2 cans of canned chicken (drained)

Salt to taste and pepper

Shredded cheese, I usually shred 1 Cheddar and maybe ½ Colby jack of the small blocks


Mix all the ingredients together in a casserole dish


In a bag, crush 2 cups of corn flakes

Mix 4-6 tablespoons of melted butter with the flakes. 

Pour them over the top of the casserole. 

If the flakes look dry, sprinkle a couple more tablespoons of butter over them.


Bake for 40-50 minutes until the flakes start to look golden brown. 



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